Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all above LOVE… My ten favorite love stories from this past year of reading (new & improved for 2022)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Love Freebie, which means we all put our own spin on the topic of LOVE.

Just like I did for the February Love Freebie TTT posts in 2020 and 2021, I’m going to keep it simple and highlight my ten favorite love stories that I read in the past year:

1. Heartstopper graphic novels by Alice Oseman: I just want to give the main characters all the hugs! These books are sweet and funny and also heart-breaking at times.

2. The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer: Reading a romance novel with a Jewish holiday as its central plot point was so much fun.

3. Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev: I’m loving this author’s series of Austen adaptations! (Next one will be an Emma retelling, and I can’t wait!)

4. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: You didn’t think I’d write a list of favorite love stories and not include Outlander, did you? There’s SO much going on in this book — battles and danger and journeys and more — but Jamie and Claire’s love story is still the heart and soul of the series.

5. Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell: A terrific science fiction adventure with a compelling romance at its center.

6. All the Feels by Olivia Dade: Another fun, steamy romance set in the same fanfic-centric world as Spoiler Alert.

7. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry: I loved this friends-to-lovers-to-not-friends-to-lovers tale! It’s quirky and funny and sincere, and just so much fun.

8. The Stand-In by Lily Chu: I had a great time listening to this audiobook, about an ordinary woman introduced to the glamorous world of movie stars, and finding love along the way.

9. Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau: Another falling-in-love-with-a-celebrity romance, but with baked goods!! I mean, how could I possibly resist?

10. The Sweetest Remedy by Jane Igharo: A lovely story about family and connection and yes, finding true love.

What were the best love stories you read during the past year?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link and let me know your topic!

And PS – Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

Save

Save

Save

Save

And PPS — Since this post is going up on February 8th…

Happy Anniversary to us! 24 years ago today, my husband and I said “I do” in a cute little wedding chapel in Reno, Nevada!

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all above LOVE… My ten favorite love stories from this past year of reading (new & improved for 2021)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Love Freebie, which means we all put our own spin on the topic of LOVE.

Just like I did for February 2020’s Love Freebie TTT, I’m going to keep it simple and highlight my ten favorite love stories that I read in the past year:

1. The Duke & I by Julia Quinn: Like just about everyone else, I have firmly jumped onto the Bridgerton bandwagon! I loved the Netflix show, and I’m finding the books pretty charming and fluffy too.

2. The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal: This five-volume historical-fiction-with-magic series is EVERYTHING, and includes one of my very favorite fictional couples, Jane and Vincent, who embody what a truly loving partnership of equals can and should be. LOVE these books.

3. Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev: A spice-infused retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, set at a cooking competition show with sweet romance and great characters. Lots of fun.

4. Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black: I seem to take every opportunity to talk about these books! This is not a romance series, but there is a great love story mixed in with all the intrigue and scheming and magical goings-on.

5. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald: I totally fell for the love story at the heart of this timey-wimey tale. Bonus points for taking place in Grand Central Station in New York, which is just an ultra-romantic setting, in my humble opinion.

6. Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade: Sweet and sizzling romance, plus fanfic and fandoms and body positivity… great read!

7. A Stitch In Time by Kelley Armstrong: More timey-wimey goodness! A timeslip romance that’s well-done, full of mystery and passion, with an awesome setting in a haunted house on the moors.

8. Well Met and Well Played by Jen DeLuca: What could be better than romance at a Ren Faire? How about two romances at two Ren Faires? Can’t wait for book #3 to come out later this year.

9. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan: I always love this author’s books, but this one especially appealed to me, and I loved the love story at its heart, which is both a story about a couple falling in love, but also about a woman finding love for the children she’s hired to take care of. All around sweet and lovely.

10. Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston: The Once Upon a Con series is so much fun, and the mismatched pair at the heart of this geeky love story are really sweet.

What were the best love stories you read during the past year?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link and let me know your topic!

And PS – Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books with One-Word Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books With Single-Word Titles. I did a TTT post a couple of years ago focusing on books with single-word titles that were names of characters (here), which was loads of fun… but I didn’t want to repeat myself. So, here’s a list of ten one-word titles that are NOT character names!

1. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon: Surprise! For once, I’m not including Outlander in a TTT list… just another books from the series. Voyager‘s title really says so much about the major and minor plots of this book.

2. Depth by Lev AC Rosen: Not nearly enough people have read this awesome science fiction novel! It’s noir fiction set in a drowned New York. I loved the concept, and just check out the cool cover art. (If interested, check out my review.)

3. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig: This book may be a little too timely right now — thanks for the nightmares! It’s a terrific, terrifying read, and again, the title really says so much about the book itself.

4. Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell: I haven’t actually read this one yet, although I absolutely intend to — it’s the sequel to her terrific historical novel Doc, which I loved so much.

5. Parasite by Mira Grant: Ew. Right? I still need to read the 2nd and 3rd books in this trilogy — which also have one-word titles, and which I assume are equally skin-crawling. (review)

6. Becoming by Michelle Obama: I’m listening to this audiobook right now. She’s so inspiring!

7. Misery by Stephen King: Oh, this book gave me the creeps! And I loved it.

8. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn: Another book that I really loved! The world-building is so interesting, as well as the characters and the central conflict. I’ve read the sequel as well, and just wish that there would be more in this series. (review)

9. Atonement by Ian McEwan: It’s hard now to separate my memories of the book and the movie, but both versions left a strong impression on me.

10. Scythe by Neal Shusterman: Another fantastic read, and I love how the title is weird and unusual and lets us know right away that something completely different is on its way. (review)

 

What books made your list this week?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I’d Follow On Social Media

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Characters I’d Follow On Social Media. That’s a tough one! But sure, I’ll play along. Here are a bunch of fictional characters who I’d bet would be oodles of fun on social media.

1. Claire Fraser (Outlander): No better source for handy medical tips and instructions on how to grow your own penicillin.

2. Verity Price (InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire): For super impressive free running videos, plus maybe some tango lessons too.

3. Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen): You just know she’d be an awesome book blogger, right? Or actually, fan fiction would probably be perfect for Catherine, especially if there are vampires and haunted houses involved.

4. Emma Woodhouse (Emma by Jane Austen): For all the gossip, of course!

5. Geralt of Rivia (Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski): Okay, granted, Geralt himself is pretty anti-social… but I could see Jaskier setting up a fan site and getting tons of followers while he creates memes about Geralt’s latest battles.

6. Emma Sheridan (Finding Fraser by KC Dyer): This one might be almost too obvious. In the book, Emma goes off to Scotland to find her very own Jamie Fraser, and blogs about it. So why not follow along?

7. Lara Jean Covey (Lara Jean books by Jenny Han): She’s so adorable! You know her posts would be the highlight of your day.

8. Prudence Maccon Akeldama (Custard Protocol series): Prudence is snarky and funny, goes on mad adventures, and has the BEST social connections.

9. Evelyn Hugo (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid): All the glamour! All the Hollywood scandals!

10. Paul Sheldon (Misery by Stephen King): Because I’m his biggest fan.

And hey, if you really want to see fictional characters having fun with technology, check out this amazing book:

What characters would you want to follow on social media?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books that gave me severe book hangovers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover.

Instead of the most recent 10, I thought I’d go with a mix of older and newer books that gave me HUGE book hangovers.

 

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Of course. This is a world I entered and never wanted to leave. And maybe that accounts for how many times I’ve reread the series!

2. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: Another I’ve reread multiple times. And no matter how many times I read it, it still packs a punch.

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Don’t laugh!! It makes me cringe now, but thinking back to the early days of Twilight mania, as soon as I finished this book, I started it over again from the beginning, because I was on a trip, didn’t have New Moon with me, and couldn’t even think about reading anything else but this book, over and over again!

4. The Newsflesh series by Mira Grant: Honestly, I just could not get these books out of my mind. Once I started, I couldn’t stop until I’d read all the books and stories. Amazing!

5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: Another one that I had to start over from the beginning as soon as I finished reading it.

6. A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers: This book hasn’t even been released yet! It’s coming soon (early March — don’t miss out!), and I hope it’s a big success. I have not been able to get the story out of my head since finishing it. (Check out my review, if you’re interested!)

7. Our War by Craig DiLouie: Ooh boy, this book was devastating and disturbing, and with everything going on in our country these days, it’s no wonder that I find myself flashing back to scenes from this book.

8. The Pact by Jodi Picoult: This was the first book I ever read by Jodi Picoult, and it just about killed me. I couldn’t not shake this book off for a long, long time.

9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Man, this book made me ugly cry so hard. I’m still not over it.

10. All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson: I loved the characters, the setting, and the plot itself, and just wanted more and more when it was done.

What books have left you with book hangovers?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all above LOVE… My ten favorite love stories from this past year of reading.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Love Freebie, which means we all put our own spin on the topic of LOVE.

I thought I’d keep it simple, and highlight my ten favorite love stories that I read in the past year:

1. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory: A love story where the main characters are in their 50s and HOT? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

2. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: Sticking with the royal theme — just such an adorable story.

3. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: A super cute set-up with great follow-through.

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Just breathtaking.

5. The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire. Okay, technically not a love story… but this urban fantasy series includes one of my favorite fictional couples, Toby and Tybalt, so it counts!

6. The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle: This is another that’s not an obvious choice, but there is a love story at the heart of this unusual novel, and its power grows over the course of the book.

7. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy: Yes, true, this also isn’t a love story exactly… but this outstanding prequel to Anne of Green Gables features a truly poignant, sad tale of unfulfilled love that absolutely broke my heart.

8. Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Henry: I know many fans of this author duo didn’t adore this book, but I did! I thought it was sweet and charming and just right for me.

9. The Summer series by Jenny Han: Not quite as wonderful as the Lara Jean books, but still sweet and touching.

10. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center: Powerful and moving.

There you have it! But enough about me… What were the best love stories you read during the past year?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link and let me know your topic!

And PS – Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads. Fun, right? I may not have a crystal ball, but I have a pretty strong feeling that these books are going to rock!

 

  1. A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire: My #1 pick for 5-star status, because how could the new Toby Daye book be anything but amazing?
  2. Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs: Same as above, but insert “Mercy Thompson”…
  3. The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal: I love the Lady Astronaut books so much
  4. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey: Releasing this week! I’ve loved her other books, so I have high hopes for this one.
  5. The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey: Another author I know I can count on!
  6. Time After Time by LIsa Grunwald: There’s always room on my shelf for a timey-wimey story.
  7. The Goblin Emperor by Katherin Addison: Not a new release, but a book from my shelf that I’m determined to finally read.
  8. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: Also not a new release, but I’m excited to read it.
  9. The Deep by Alma Katsu: I can’t imagine not loving this.
  10. In Five Years by Rebecca Searle: I just love the sound of the plot.

What are your five-star predictions for 2020? Do we have any in common?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Elements I Love & Loathe

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Cover Freebie – meaning we come up with our own spin on the topic, so long as it relates to book covers.

I thought I’d keep it simple and highlight types of covers that I love… plus a couple that I loathe.

I LOVE:

1. Covers featuring dreamy characters gazing out to sea — my favorite example being this lovely cover for The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley:

2. Bright colors on a black background: Maybe it became popular back with Twilight, but I’m always a sucker for the bright-on-black look.

3. Cutesy cartoon-y romance covers:

4. Cheesy 70s covers:

5. Moody urban fantasy heroes:

6. A series with a committed cover theme:

7. Bonkers looks for a bonkers book — such as these covers for books by Grady Hendrix:

8. Covers full of YUM — I’m not a foodie, but I do love a good cupcake!

 

And just a couple types of covers that I LOATHE:

9. Bare chests. Muscles. Tattoos. Muscle-y tattooed chests. You get what I mean.

[Note: Sorry — I started looking for images to go with this one, and I just couldn’t. For whatever reason, this type of cover makes me cringe SO much.]

10. Movie/TV tie-ins. I mean, I love a great adaptation as much as anyone, but I still prefer my book covers to be just book covers, not pictures of movie or TV stars. Even for my beloved Outlander series, I’d still take an old-fashioned cover over the new Jamie/Claire/TV cover (and don’t get me wrong, I adore the TV series!)

 

Are there certain types of covers that you love or loathe? Let me know what you think!

And if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf. I’m going to double up here and highlight two sets of ten — the ten most recent physical books I purchased, as well as the ten most recent Kindle books I added.

My most recent print additions:

And my ten most recent e-books:
[Note: I tend to grab e-books I’m interested in whenever I see a price break, which is the case with most of these…]

Have you read any of these? Which do you think should go to the top of my priority list?

And what are your most recent additions to your shelves? Please share your TTT links!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Top 10 Tuesday newTop Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Well, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? While much of what I read in 2012 was by tried-and-true favorite authors, and still more were books in ongoing series, I did have the pleasure of trying many authors for the first time. Without further ado, and not necessarily in any discernible order, here are my top ten for 2012:

1) Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity, one of my very favorite books of 2012. This is yet another example of a YA novel that should be read by everyone. With an amazingly intricate plot and unforgettable characters, Code Name Verity left me breathless and teary-eyed.

2) Patricia Briggs — I was so happy to stumble across her phenomenal urban fantasy series centering on Mercy Thompson, full of werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, and fae. The series is well-written and exciting, and I can’t wait for more!

3) John Green — Including John Green in this list may be a bit of a cheat, as I’ve read something co-authored by John Green before 2012 (Will Grayson, Will Grayson, cowritten with David Levithan), but The Fault In Our Stars was the first book I’d read by John Green alone. It left me a completely tear-stained mess, but I loved it immensely and am now on a mission to read more of his novels.

4) Bill Willingham – Author of the amazing Fables graphic novel series, which I fell madly in love with this year.

5) Maria Semple — I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and am on the wait list at my local library for the author’s earlier novel, This One Is Mine.

6) Gillian Flynn – Wow, was Gone Girl an amazing ride! I definitely want to read the author’s two earlier novel, Dark Places and Sharp Objects.

7) Eowyn Ivey — Her descriptions of frontier life in Alaska were so real, I needed an extra sweater. The Snow Child was a magical read, and I’d love to read whatever the author writes next.

8) Carl Hiassen — Believe it or not, I’d never read anything by this bestselling author until my son and I decided to read his newest book for children, Chomp. What fun! I’m not sure whether his adult fiction is for me, but I’ll certainly look forward to reading more of his children’s books.

9) Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was weird and wonderful, full of deliciously odd photos. Altogether enjoyable, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

10) Charles de Lint — I know he’s written a lot of books and has a loyal following, but somehow this author had never made it across my radar until I picked up a copy of The Mysteries of Grace, which I really enjoyed. More, please!

I’m looking forward to all the new discoveries that await me in 2013!

Save